Archived Story

Readers must scrutinize political writers

Published 9:14am Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Column: My Point of View, by Jerrold Dettle

The drama of reading political opinions draws many to retrieve the Tribune at the earliest opportunity to gain a closer review of community events and commentary from a local prospective.

Others may not be as enthused, but the concerns and interesting viewpoints of our neighbors can be important information as well as entertaining. Many seem to enjoy the expansion of knowledge more as they mature.

Jerrold Dettle
Jerrold Dettle

Certainly the rapidly changing world we live in has become very challenging and fascinating. Seldom do we greet each other without mentioning the weather, our health or our employment. Death and taxes soon follow in equal importance with the flow of a discussion. Once an arousing view of another’s political stance is revealed, often we ask, “Is that really true?”

The editorials, views and opinions expressed in this publication by local writers are sincerely heartfelt and presented as the world appears from the writer’s desk.

However, nationally syndicated writers often seem to have more of a political agenda driven by a deeply engrained ideology. It then follows that for personal or financial gain, or power, they might possibly feel a greater temptation to skew the truth or lie.

After all, the theme of the world’s most deceiving ideology that is now prominent on many college campuses is “the end justifies the means.” As writers, we need to conduct a thorough self-examination and analysis of the facts that support our political viewpoint or we can easily be drawn unwittingly into relating a big lie. This careful human attempt to scrutinize quotes and calculations can be very laborious and time consuming.

If one desires to probe the authenticity of writers with an opposing view to uncover hyperbole, then the effort can be almost endless. All writers have a constitutional and God-given right to pursue the facts that support their view and ultimately slant followers to their cause.

If you do not know by this time, this writer leans to the right on many issues; however, on some issues I can support a very leftist viewpoint. This again can affect how difficult it is to evaluate the honesty of a writer. Two people rarely have the same viewpoint on every issue.

Having been a longtime supporter of affirmative action, a liberal perspective, this writer is proud of efforts in tirelessly supporting civil rights. The point is that most humans have complex views.

So let’s have some fun in analyzing this mythical person’s quote! “A writer that creates a clear dissimulation of Obama care is always a mendacious individual.”

So our first thought is, what the heck does that mean?

Usually we will dislike the effort of searching for the definition of two words, instead we will continue by inserting in the back of our mind what we want these words to mean. Professional writers often tweak their statements to achieve a desired slant to their view. A check online often reveals that syndicated writers who label themselves as moderate or independent often have a radical political past or affiliations.

The scene has now been set and the viewpoint is that a cautious mistrust of statements by a nationally syndicated writer is more concerning than one of our local patriots. Here are two example stories that you have probably read recently. One syndicated writer appears to be liberal and the other of the conservative persuasion. One article espoused the positive news that had rated Minnesota as the eighth best state for a corporation to locate their business.

The first concern for authenticity would be a dramatic leap of 14 positions upward from a 22nd rating last year. This large movement in one year creates disbelief in the research.

The second concern is that the high rating was attributed to Minnesota being ranked as having the highest quality of living. It may be that 49 other states would disagree, but the concern here is if this could realistically be a major issue with corporate heads who seem to be motivated almost entirely by profit.

The other article which appeared to be reinforcing a conservative agenda, ranked Minnesota 46th out of 50 as the best state to locate a corporate business. The major concern for authenticity here was not the category, which effectively recited Minnesota for being one of the highest taxed states on record, but rather the lack of consideration of any other categories.

The ignoring of many probable categories by corporate leadership is very unrealistic. An underlying current against most of these studies is the question of scientific quality.

Having taken a recent college course on research and statistics, it became apparent how difficult it was to create an accurate study. Most studies appear to be created to satisfy an individual statement that in turn will create power or profit.

In summary, it is the hope of this writer that in the coming year many more of all political individuals will strive to be evidence based and be willing to openly share their views whether in the media or over a cup of coffee.

Happy belated holidays to all on the left or right, and to all a good write !


Albert Lea resident Jerrold Dettle is a member of the Freeborn County Republican Party.